Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34674

Still Needed:

$40326

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: fútbol
Question: Is there a name for words derived from another language, like fútbol from football, that sound like the original, but aren't direct translations? Football would translate roughly to ''bola del pie'' in Spanish. I've been wondering this for a long time. Thank you.

Marc Arndt

Reply: Such words are called borrowings – an interesting label, since the words aren’t meant to be returned to the lender!

As in the example that you give, borrowings typically undergo respelling in their new language, so that the users of this language may find it easier to recognise them as “theirs”, as it were. Compare, for example, ‘tufão’ in Portuguese and ‘typhoon’ in English, from the same original word (presumably Greek).

Madalena
Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
 
Date: 05-Sep-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: fútbol    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (05-Sep-2013)
  2. Re: fútbol    James L Fidelholtz     (06-Sep-2013)
  3. Re: fútbol    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (10-Sep-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions